For organisations across all industries getting the best possible start relies on three defining factors – having a great idea, getting the right business support and obtaining investment. Whether you are a company looking for equity finance to get started or a venture that needs follow-on funding to progress, seeking investment is a route taken by many companies in their quest for business success.
As the UK’s leading provider of venture capital and business support, Mercia Fund Management has the tools scalable organisations need to succeed and actively work with investors to find worthy investments. Here we take a closer look at the funding available for businesses, as well as offer essential advice for approaching investors and preparing the perfect pitch.
The Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme
The Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme (SEIS) is an initiative introduced by the government and backed by national venture capital firms. The scheme is designed to help start-up businesses succeed in the recovering economy giving them access to the equity finance they need to launch their venture in its respective market.
Early stage investment is essential to the health and longevity of any business and the SEIS offers that all-important funding (up to £300,000), a bevy of tax reliefs and business support from established industry experts. To qualify your company must be less than two years old, have fewer than 25 employees and demonstrate a clear route to generating revenue.
EIS funds and late stage investment
Businesses don’t just need funding at their early stages, follow-on funding is often needed to propel your business and its model forward. The Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS) is an initiative run nationally and caters to companies seeking investment of up to £2million.
To qualify companies must achieve sales of £10million or less, have fewer than 250 employees, be focused on delivering investment returns and be able to generate dividends within three years of investment, with exit planned in four to seven years.
A series of venture capital firms, including ourselves, run specialised access to both the SEIS and EIS and can be applied to directly for support. Whilst qualification is difficult and competition is rife, these schemes have become an essential tool for businesses across a wide range of industries. Pitching to each venture capital firm’s investment panel takes a lot of time and preparation, and companies seeking investment are urged to create pitches built on revenue-driven, realistic and heavily researched business models.
For more information on applying for funding, please visit our website.